Discrimination Lawsuit Against Rivian Cites “Toxic Bro Culture”

"The culture at Rivian was actually the worst I’ve experienced in over 20 years in the automotive industry," said the former executive behind the suit

A Rivian sign lit up at night at the Griffith Observatory during the unveiling of the company's first-ever electric adventure vehicle
Rivian is facing scandal just as it gets off the ground.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Rivian

It’s been an encouraging couple of months for electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian, including a glowing review from MotorTrend for the company’s new pickup and continued investment from Amazon. But a new lawsuit recently filed against the company offers another, far less pleasant look into what Rivian has been up to — and the phrase “toxic bro culture” is involved.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Ben Foldy and Sarah E. Needleman have more about the lawsuit, which was filed by Laura Schwab, who had until last month been a vice president of sales and marketing at Rivian. Schwab’s experience before Rivian included stints at Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin Lagonda, and she didn’t pull punches when talking about her experiences at Rivian.

Schwab’s lawsuit contends that she was fired after going to HR to raise objections about a “toxic ‘bro culture’” at the company. In an interview with the Journal, she was equally candid. “The culture at Rivian was actually the worst I’ve experienced in over 20 years in the automotive industry,” Schwab said.

What did that entail? Among a number of other factors, Schwab’s lawsuit asserts that “she was cut out of critical strategy meetings involving her team and that other female executives were similarly excluded from sales-projections meetings.” This was one of several factors that led to her speaking with HR, followed by her being fired two days later.

Rivian declined a request for comment from theWall Street Journal as a result of their upcoming IPO, which is expected on Nov. 9, per Reuters.

This wouldn’t be the first case of a tech company dealing with accusations of deeply entrenched sexism — and, unfortunately, it’s also unlikely to be the last.

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